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Less is more. So much more.
How do you feel when you think about your home?
Happy? Content? Overwhelm? Or perhaps you can’t remember the last time you actually stopped to think about how it makes you feel and are now Googling late at night wondering how to fix “all of this” (waves hand in general direction of stuff).
Just like organised homes aren’t built in a day, disorganised homes aren’t created by a single, life shattering event.
It’s a slow burn.
A gradual build up of stuff and then a sneaking feeling that things have gone too far. Followed by a snap decision of: “ENOUGH!” Time to be an adult and sort this stuff out!”
Stuff: the items that fill the nooks and crannies of your drawers, cupboards, under the beds, and that extra cupboard in the guest bedroom you 100% forgot about 3 years ago.
Living with less isn’t about shrinking your home – or yourself – into a neat, square box everyone expects of you.
It’s about creating a home you love to live in. One that doesn’t drag it’s feet like a 14 year old who has discovered, if they are just slightly annoying enough, they may get out of having to do chores.
Living with less is about creating home that works for you. Not against you.
One that doesn’t suck energy out of you, but rather feeds energy to you.
Let’s dive into why decluttering and living with less it not only totally do-able for you, but also so worth it.
Stuff carries energy
Before your eyeballs skip on over wondering how woo-woo this is getting, hear me out.
Stuff fills up space. Physics 101 achieved – well done. However, fen-shui or however you define it, is a real thing. A room filled cornice to skirting board instantly makes you feel like you need to catch your breath and makes you wonder at what hazard level your local fire station would rank the room.
But a hotel room with crisp, white linens (that any parent would dream of!) gives you the opposite feeling. You can breathe. Your mind switches off focusing on the stuff and more on the relaxed feeling it gives you. It can be hard to pin-point what it is, but the room is just “awesome”.
The thing is, whether you want to believe it or not right now, you deserve to have your home feel like it’s a sanctuary. And it’s totally achievable. Whether you rent a teeny studio or have bought the forever home. Or if you are living in a dumping zone and can’t see the floor.
By only having stuff in your home that you love and/or actually need, means that there isn’t stuff sucking away your energy everytime you look at it, leaving you wondering “ugh, what is EVEN IN this cupboard?”
Less stuff gives you the opportunity to live in your space.
Your home is first and foremost designed for living. Not storage.
And that feeling of having a space that you LOVE to live in are the rays of sunlight you see glowing from people who have decluttered like they have found the Holy Grail. These people know that all the stuff in their home is there for a reason.
They know they didn’t need 27 pairs of socks which means they can now easily close their sock drawer. Every. Single. Time. No shoving or frustration. Or socks falling down the back meaning none of the drawers close.
It just quietly opens and closes. As it was designed to.
And every morning they ask ‘how many years did I put up with this?!’ Too many.
See the light. Get rid of the stuff that sucks energy away from you and simply just makes your life harder than it needs to be.
Less breaks, more flow
“Where is the mini muffin tray?! I need to bake something for thingy’s [insert small human’s name] bake sale at school tomorrow and I DEFINITELY put it in with the other trays in the laundry!”
You holla at your partner at 9.00pm.
Truth be told, you have no stinking idea where you left the tray. And the blank stare from your partner says they don’t either.
But you have a sneaking suspicion that you are actually thinking of your mum’s kitchen cupboard and probably have never owned a mini-muffin tray yourself…
You give that thought a decent burial and continue to glare at anything that moves. And then promptly ditch the whole idea and write a note to the teacher excusing your lack of baked goods. Again.
Living with less stuff and ACTUALLY knowing what you own, means you aren’t left wondering what lives 3 layers deep, in the darkness of your cupboards.
“Well. What a lovely, nice thought that is.”
Yes. I get it.
To get from frustration and late night scowls to a home in flow, does require work at your end.
And I ain’t coming over to referee either.
The work is relatively simple.
And if you’re serious about it read this blog once you finish this one (LINK TO Declut 1st time ever BLOG)
With less clutter filling up your home, you’ll be in flow. No stopping and wondering where this thing is, or who had the audacity to steal that. Or why your friend hasn’t returned that thing to that you really could use right now!
With less stuff, you know what you have. And what you don’t have.
Keep the stuff you need and love – everything else leaves your home to have an adventure elsewhere.
Say YES to more “let me fetch that for you” and less mental gymnastics of “do we even have that anymore?”
Less stuff means less decisions (welcome to the world of organisation)
The amount of stuff in your home which makes you happy is subjective. A whole wall of tea in every flavour imaginable may make your heart sing, whereas others it may be proudly displaying a neatly categorised collection of cds.
You can argue that one is more useful etc etc, but finding happiness is always an inside job. And no one can comment on that.
Reducing the stuff that you own will give you that initial buzz of achievement, but thanks to peksy human nature, once we reach the summit we get bored again and start hunting for the next goal. And you should.
Stressing about, thinking about, planning over, and doing all sorts of things in our home is awesome.
For a time.
But the research (LINK) will tell you that a happy life is proportionate to the value of your relationships. With people not stuff.
So once you have decluttered and are feeling all fabulous, the next step is to take stock of how your home runs a.k.a getting organised.
Dig a little deeper than the stuff on the calendar and look into what causes stress and circular arguments in your home.
Are you always guessing the last time the bed sheets were washed? Wondering where all the tea towels went? Are you the one always stuck cleaning because it’s never done ‘right’?
Taking time to think about what works for your home through the lense of systems can help take the emotion out of running the household.
Create systems that are beyond simple for the others in your household to follow.
A cute basket in the linen cupboard labelled “TEA TOWELS” is a great system.
Take the microphone away from complaints and replace them with systems.
Beds get changed every Sunday.
The bins get emptied when 98% full (everytime you put something in them you do an eyeball check of how full they are – and leaning towers of Pisa are never allowed.
Observing where things go wrong can also help.
If no one can be bothered lifting the lid on laundry baskets, just ditch the lid if the laundry never goes in it. Lose the battle of 100% cuteness, win the war of clean floors.
And if you have A LOT of things to improve in your home, start small and improve over time. Tweak as you go, seeing what works and what doesn’t work.
And like everything worthwhile, it will take much more work than you think.
However it will free up your time for more meaningful things in life and reduce that mental workload we sometimes hold so tightly onto.
When breaking down old systems, it can get worse in order to get better. Embrace the journey.
A house full of clutter doesn’t add to happiness, but a house full of humans you love will.
Make a decision to create a living space over a storage space.